In a Landslide Victory 1,700 Disneyland Resort Cast Members Who Perform as Characters and Dance in Parades Vote to Unionize with Actors' Equity Association

Anaheim, Calif. – On Saturday evening, May 18, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that the Disneyland Resort Cast Members who perform as characters or dance in parades and the hosts, leads and trainers who create magic alongside them, have voted to be represented by Actors' Equity Association (Equity). For the union to become the bargaining agent for this group of 1,700 workers Equity needed to receive 50% plus one vote of those who cast ballots. This was a landslide victory; the union far exceeded the threshold it needed to win with 79 percent of those voting casting ballots for the union. The unofficial vote count is 953 for Equity to 258 opposed. If there are no election challenges, the NLRB's regional director will certify the results within a week.

Find photos from the unionization campaign here.

"They say that Disneyland is 'the place where dreams come true,' and for the Disney Cast Members who have worked to organize a union, their dream came true today," said Actors' Equity Association President Kate Shindle. "These workers are on the front lines of the Guest experience; they're the human beings who create lifelong memories when your kids hug a character, or when your family watches a parade roll by the castle. The next step will be to collaborate with them about improving health & safety, wages, benefits, working conditions and job security. After that we will meet with representatives of the Walt Disney Company to negotiate those priorities into a first contract."

Equity has had a good working relationship with Disney and currently represents performers and stage managers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, and with Disney Theatricals on Broadway and on national tours.

Most of the Disneyland Resort's workforce is already unionized, with those working in the Characters and Parades departments being a notable exception – until now.

"This is an incredible victory, and we appreciate all the support over the past several weeks. We're excited about the next phase," said Shindle. "These Cast Members are both pro-union and pro-Disney, and they're looking forward to meeting with their employer across the bargaining table in a good faith effort to make both the work experience and the Guest experience better."

The Disneyland Resort, which includes Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure as well as three hotels and Downtown Disney, opened in 1955 and has become one of the most attended themed entertainment attractions in the world.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. #EquityWorks

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May 18, 2024